So, how are you getting on after indulging in all those Christmas, New Year and Kings’ Day festivities? Personally, I am missing chocolate, which I do not usually eat, but made an exception during the festivities. Forget non-prescription drugs and alcohol, for me chocolate is just as addictive and the sooner that I kick the habit the better; or is it?
I felt a sudden rush of excitement when I read a recent report that chocolate may be one of the best remedies for dealing with a nasty cough. Forget all those revolting cough syrups, but simply suck chocolate. Now this is the cure that I do approve of, but does it work?
I know that I am not the only one living in the Canary Islands and Spain who has been welcoming visitors from the UK and Europe with some very nasty illnesses over the Christmas and New Year period. I usually try to avoid the airport as best I can, because I am convinced that all those flights from goodness knows where are simply riddled with bugs determined to ruin holidays and infest the local population with evil nastiness. I used to think that wearing a face-mask at the airport was simply over the top, but now I am not so sure. Back to chocolate.
A recent study has discovered that when we have one of those horrible, sleep preventing, hacking coughs, a dose of cough syrup will not do the trick. At best, it will probably upset your stomach or at worst give you a dose of diarrhoea, but it will not cure your cough. Instead, the most recent advice is to reach out for a bar of chocolate, which is far better for respiratory and cough symptoms than those evil concoctions from the chemist.
According to some very clever people at the University of Hull, supporting evidence in favour of eating chocolate is as solid as “a bar of Fruit and Nut”, and proves that cocoa is more effective than a bottle of standard cough medicine. If you simply compare the price of a bottle of cough medicine to a bar of chocolate, what’s not to like?
The survey found that patients taking chocolate-based medicine made a significant improvement in just two days. Experts suggest that it is the alkaloid contained within cocoa, theobromine, that is more effective at suppressing coughs than codeine, which is used in most cough medicines, and has all kinds of side effects including drowsiness.
A more detailed analysis suggests that it is the stickiness within chocolate that forms a coating on the nerves contained within the throat that basically prevents the urge to cough. It is similar to the effect of that favourite remedy of honey and lemon, but chocolate seems to be even more effective, and much more fun.
So, if your visitors have given you a post-Christmas gift of a nasty cold and cough, it seems that the best advice is to suck chocolate. I have no argument with this, and will be stocking up with a few bars of Dairy Milk especially for our next batch of visitors. Health warning: Please be aware, that I have absolutely no medical expertise and I do not work for the chocolate industry, so please don’t blame me if your cough gets better, but you put on weight instead.© Barrie Mahoney ￼